A program that allows farmers to help feed the hungry that was suspended due to flooding in the state last year is being revived. Northeast Iowa Food Bank executive director, Barbara Prather , says the program allows farmers to donate some of their crop to food banks.
“They can designate how ever many bushels they sell, and the food bank will get the rewards of that,” Prather says. The elevator then writes a check and gives it directly to the food bank and the food bank can turn that into dollars to buy food for people in need. Prather says the donations will help the food banks restock their shelves at a time when there’s a big need.
She says the farmers give the elevator their tax id number, then the elevator writes out a check directly to the food bank or food pantry. A similar program coordinated through grain elevators in Forest City and Keister, Minnesota, has been successful in helping offset the large need from those laid off at Winnebago Industries. Riley Lewis farms west of Forest City, and says it’s a good program.
“It’s more than bushels and it’s more than money, it’s coming from the heart, and we want to help our neighbors and people who have met into times, it’s not their fault,” Lewis says. Farmers who wish to donate can log onto the website “Feeding-America-dot-org” and enter their zip code to find a local food bank or pantry that’s participating.